Cummings Slams Bank Bailout and Other Provisions in 2015 Appropriations Bill
Washington, D.C.—Today, Rep. Elijah E. Cummings, Ranking Member of the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, issued the following statement strongly condemning provisions in the 2015 Consolidated and Further Continuing Appropriations Act that would weaken protections enacted in the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act:
“Bank profits were higher last year than in any year in history—exceeding all-time records set before the financial crisis in 2008—yet millions of hard-working Americans have seen their wages stagnate as corporate executives get rich. The banks that brought our financial system to the brink of collapse do not need this bailout provision, and they should not be allowed to gamble with taxpayer money.
“If Congress does not act by tomorrow, the government will shutdown. Adding extraneous provisions to eliminate essential economic safeguards is an insult to the American people. Sadly, this is only one of many provisions slipped into the appropriations bill that cater to powerful corporate lobbies at the expense of the middle class. Congress should reject these measures and enact policies to address the real priorities of the American people.”
Section 716 of the Dodd-Frank Act (“Prohibition Against Federal Government Bailouts of Swaps”) requires banks to utilize funds that are not ensured by the Federal Depository Insurance Corporation when trading highly risky financial derivatives commonly known as “swaps.” This ensures that U.S. taxpayers are not be on the hook if banks sustain losses as a result of such trading.
Provisions in the 2015 Appropriations Act would repeal Section 716, allowing banks to utilize federally insured funds to engage in the riskiest types of derivatives trading and seek federal bailouts if their trading results in losses.
Other problematic provisions in the legislation would expand the amounts the rich can donate to political parties, weaken key environmental protections, and fail to provide full funding for the Department of Homeland Security.